For the first time ever, a half dozen Indian business schools have made the Financial Times 2023 Global MBA Ranking. That’s two more than the four on last year’s list, and four more than appeared a decade ago.
Five of the schools are Indian Institutes of Management, with Ahmedabad receiving the highest ranking followed by Bangalore, Calcutta, Indore, and Lucknow. Indore and Lucknow gained spots on the FT ranking for the first time this year. But the highest ranked of all the business schools in India is the Indian School of Business which the FT ranks 39th best in the world.
Ten years ago, only two Indian schools made the Top 100, according to the FT. They were IIM-Ahmedabad, ranked 26th best in the world in 2013, and the Indian School of Business, which then ranked 34th. ISB wasted little time in trumpeting the fact that it is again ranked first in India. The school immediately put up a YouTube video to promote itself.
HOW THE INDIAN BUSINESS SCHOOL RANKS IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES
The Indian schools score impressively across several of the metrics in the Financial Times ranking. IIM-Ahmedabad, for example, places first among all ranked schools, including Harvard, Stanford, and this year’s No. 1 school Columbia, when it comes to career progress. That metric is calculated according to changes in the level of seniority and the size of the organisation alumni work in now, compared with before their MBA. In fact, three of the Top Ten programs in career progress are all in India: Besides Ahmedabad, IIM-Bangalore is in seventh place and IIM-Calcutta is in eighth.
Alumni of the Indian School of Business report extremely high increases in pay as a result of their degrees: 205%. To put that into some context, the percentage increase at Harvard Business School is 117% while the increase at Stanford Graduate School of Business is 131%. Only one other school in the world boosted pay at a higher percentage than ISB: China’s Shanghai University of Finance and Economics with a 207% increase.
The program in India achieving the highest rate of alumni satisfaction is IIM-Calcutta. On a scale of one to ten, with ten representing the highest level of satisfaction, Calcutta scored a 9.34, a sliver above the 9.33 earned by Ahmedabad or the 9.31 awarded to the ISB. The lowest satisfaction score in India went to IIM-Indore which got an 8.93. In comparison, the highest alumni satisfaction score among all schools ranked by the FT was a 9.98 at Stanford.
ACADEMIC RESEARCH IS HOLDING BACK THE INDIAN SCHOOLS FROM FURTHER RANKING GAINS
Several schools also do quite well on the FT’s assessment of a school’s alumni network. Three schools are ranked in the Top 20 worldwide for their networks: ISB at 12th, Calcutta at 14th, and Lucknow at 15th. Ahmedabad’s alumni network placed 28th. The laggards? Bangalore finished with a rank of 58th, while Indore was ranked 55th. The rank aims to assess the “effectiveness of the alumni network for career opportunities, starting companies, gaining new ideas, recruiting staff and giving event information (such as career-related talks), as rated by alumni,” according to the FT.
What’s holding the Indian business schools back from further ranking gains? It’s academic research, which accounts for 10% of the FT ranking. With the exception of ISB, whose research rank is 61th, the IIM schools rank among the weakest on the Financial Times list. Lucknow is ranked dead last at 100th, while both Indore and Calcutta both have a research rank of just 98. Bangalore is at 94, while Ahmedabad is at 87. The newspaper does its own research calculation by counting up the number of articles published by current full-time faculty members in 50 selected academic and practitioner journals between January 2020 and July 2022. The FT rank combines the absolute number of publications with the number weighted relative to the faculty’s size.
Another issue that hurts the Indian schools from performing better is the employment rate for graduates three months after completing a program. Graduate business programs in India have exceptional employment rates. Of the nine schools out of the 100 that reported a 100% placement rate, five are based in India. The only Indian school without a 100% employment rate has a super impressive 98% placement record and that is Ahmedabad. But the FT only weights this metric a measly 2% in its ranking. That’s less than 18 other data points–and yet isn’t that one of the main points of an MBA program? Landing a job is far more important than most of the other more heavily weighted metrics by the FT. It’s a shame that the Indian schools can’t get more credit for their stellar performance on this measure.
DON'T MISS: THE FINANCIAL TIMES 2023 MBA RANKING: THE BIGGEST BOMBSHELL IS WHARTON'S DISAPPEARANCE or MEET THE MBAS AT IIM-AHMEDABAD IN THE CLASS OF 2023
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